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Media Contact: Ashante Dobbs
  (404) 727-5692
04 May 2007
Emory Nursing School Faculty and Students Transform Health Care at Home and Abroad
Researchers and students at Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing are helping to transform health care through clinical settings and the classroom. Here's a glimpse of some of the initiatives currently underway at the School of Nursing that are improving the care of millions of people locally and around the globe:

  • Dean Marla Salmon addressed the severity of the U.S. nursing shortage at a recent meeting of the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Dr. Salmon painted a bleak portrait of the challenges confronting the nursing profession, including a shortage of teachers to educate future nurses. She says the deficit comes as the health care system braces for increased demands from aging baby boomers. "New methods for addressing the supply, utilization and support of nurses must be adopted if the U.S. is to continue to provide quality health care in the near and long-term future to people at home and abroad," Dr. Salmon says.

  • Dr. Sandra Dunbar, professor of cardiovascular nursing, presented the results of a major study to the American Heart Association on the effect of interventions on anxiety and depression in patients with Internal Cardiac Defibrillators (ICDs). Dr. Dunbar and her team hope their PEACE (Psychoeducational Intervention in Internal Cardiac Defibrillator Patients) Trial will help improve physical and emotional recovery of people living with ICDs. "Our goal is to help ICD recipients feel more in control and to shift from a victim to a survivor mindset," she says.

  • Dr. Jill Hamilton, Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar, has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study support networks and coping strategies for older cancer patients within African American families and communities. The ultimate goal of her study is to develop a coping questionnaire that will be useful in practice and help others better understand patients' needs.

  • The Emory School of Nursing is one of only a handful of U.S. nursing schools that are training students to become emergency nurse practitioners (ENPs) and work in the demanding ER setting. The rigorous four-semester ENP program is a collaboration of Emory's nursing and medical schools. Students spend nearly 800 hours paired with emergency medicine physicians and nurse practitioners in ERs at Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta's only Level I trauma center, Emory Crawford Long Hospital, and other participating health care networks in the metro area.

  • Nursing instructor Monica Donohue takes her nursing students on a community health journey at Atlanta's Gateway Center so they can witness firsthand the challenges associated with health disparities and homelessness. Last summer, Donohue's students conducted a hand care clinic for clients there. "Our students were able to create a street-workable program only after they turned to the client themselves and got a clear picture of what their lives were like and how they thought they could fit hygiene, nutrition, even appropriate exercise, into their lives on the streets and in shelters," she says.

  • Dr. Gerri Lamb and her team of students incorporate the disciplines of nursing, industrial design, architecture, computer science, systems engineering, and human computer interaction to design patient rooms of the future. They tour hospital rooms and talk with nurses about what works and what doesn't work in the hospital environment. What can we expect to see in future patient rooms? According to Dr. Lamb and her students, hospital rooms of tomorrow should be equipped with accessible bathing areas, efficiently arranged patient beds and additional space for family members and nurses to work.

To learn more about the featured Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing researchers and projects, call 404-727-5692.

May 6-12 marks National Nurses Week. The w ork of America's 2.9 million registered nurses to save lives and maintain the health of millions of individuals is the focus of the weeklong celebration sponsored by the American Nurses Association. This year's theme is "Nursing: A Profession and a Passion."

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